Kelowna and its surroundings have a population of approximately 170,000, with just over 300,000 people in the Okanagan Valley. In other words, it’s big enough to have city amenities such as “big box” shopping, good restaurants, entertainment and arts, but small enough to escape big city traffic and enjoy country amenities, as well.
Kelowna’s advantages are many. Situated at the mid-point 120 km (75 mile) long Lake Okanagan, Kelowna is blessed with a dry climate (only 355 mm/14 inches of rain annually) featuring warm summers averaging 27-30° C (80-86°F) and cool dry winters with very little snow. The pleasant Kelowna climate is a draw for vacationers and people seeking the “Okanagan Lifestyle.”
Some of the many pleasures enjoyed in the Okanagan Valley include the following:
The Okanagan Valley has become a golfer’s paradise. There are over 30 golf courses in the Okanagan, offering everything from high end championship layouts to low-priced executive courses for the less adventurous golfer. Compared to other North American golf meccas, the quality of the Okanagan golf experience is high, while the costs are very reasonable. There are also several golf course communities located in the Okanagan Valley.
Summer Sports Activities
Summer sport activities, including boating, water skiing, cycling, in-line skating, parasailing, hiking, fishing (in the many mountain lakes that are easily accessible from the Okanagan Valley), houseboat tours and more.
If you prefer to just sit at an outdoor café, on the waterfront, watching the world go by, this is an option too!
Other winter sports: Kelowna and the Okanagan alley also have excellent cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and ice fishing nearby.
There are over 40 wineries, many of which are producing world-class wines throughout the Okanagan Valley. This has become a very popular pastime for both tourists and Okanagan locals.
Art & Entertainment
Kelowna has recently added many venues to its arts and entertainment scene. These includeProspera Place, the Kelowna Art Gallery and the new Kelowna Library.
Prospera Place has played host to such world-class acts as Bryan Adams, Elton John, The Guess Who, Bill Cosby, John Fogarty, Black Eyed Peas, Moist, the musical “Chicago” and others. Of course, we also have the Kelowna Rockets hockey. It’s not the NHL, but it’s pretty darn entertaining, and you can take the whole family for the price of a “cheap” NHL ticket!
Skiing & Boarding
Big White, BC’s second largest alpine ski and snowboard area, is less than an hour’s drive for Kelowna residents, while several other well known ski areas (Apex, Silver Star and Sun Peaks) are also a short drive away. All these areas feature on-mountain ski villages for those who want a ski-in, ski-out experience. Other day ski areas serving the Okanagan Valley includeCrystal Mountain, just outside Kelowna/Westbank and Baldy, near Oliver/Osoyoos. All feature plentiful snowfall and dry Okanagan powder.
Places to Live
From waterfront condos to large estates on Lake Okanagan, view homes overlooking the lake and vineyards, gated retirement communities, country acreages, golf course homes, golf cottages and townhouses, ski chalets and condos, modest priced bungalows, acreages and older character homes near the centre of the city, Kelowna offers almost anything that fits your fantasies or budget.
Compared to any other place in North America that offers even half the amenities and lifestyle of the Okanagan, these properties are surprisingly reasonably priced. Check this website for your “Special Okanagan Lifestyle” property.